Delivered by the Minister of Women, Children and Social Protection – Fiji, Hon Lynda Tabuya
at the Pacific Islands Forum Women Leaders Meeting 2023
Suva, Fiji, 31 August 2023
The Secretary General Henry Puna Sir,
Honourable Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown
Distinguished Women Leaders
Ladies and Gentlemen
Bula vinaka and welcome / welcome back to Fiji.
It is a distinct privilege for me to be here today in the presence of the formidable and inspiring women leaders representing our Blue Pacific at the 2nd Pacific Islands Forum Women Leaders Meeting.
Coming together on this occasion holds indeed great significance. Our collective leadership for gender equality and our shared commitment to accountability are vital in bringing to life the vision of an equal, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable Blue Pacific, aligned with the aspirations of the Blue Pacific 2050 Strategy.
I applaud the collaborative efforts that led to the establishment of the Pacific Islands Forum Women Leaders meeting as an annual stand-alone event within the Pacific Islands Forum of Leaders.
Last year marked a significant milestone for Fiji as we chaired the inaugural Pacific Islands Forum Women Leaders Meeting, and I want to acknowledge the dedication of my predecessor, Ms. Rosy Akbar, during that historic occasion.
I also express my gratitude to Secretary General Henry Puna and his team for their support throughout our tenure and in the continued convening of the Pacific Islands Women Leaders annual Meeting.
As we build upon the foundation set during our inaugural meeting, I eagerly anticipate joining forces with all of you to seize the opportunities presented by this gathering. I am looking forward to a conversation and discussion that embodies openness, our shared Pacific values as islanders, constructive dialogue, and a resolute commitment with a focus on accountability and tangible outcomes in order to collectively champion the rights and aspirations of Pacific women and girls in all their diversity.
Passing the leadership torch to our esteemed chair for this meeting, Honourable Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown, I offer my heartfelt congratulations. You can count on the full support of the Fiji delegation as you navigate and guide our discussions in the next two days.
Together, let’s strive for a brighter, equitable, and inclusive future for all in the Blue Pacific.